Wildwood Summer Theatre was founded in 1965 by a group of students from Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland. Each summer, the company puts on a full-scale musical.
Sounds like a lot of summer theater groups, right? Here's the difference: everyone in our company--from the Chairman of the Board of Directors, to the Board themselves, to the actors, technicians, staff, and musicians--are all between the ages of 14 to 25. No one older, no one younger. This allows young people the rare experience of creating a fully-realized theatre production from top to bottom, beginning to end. WST prides itself on being a learning theatre in which each generation inspires the next; returners and newcomers alike enjoy the unique opportunities WST offers.
We are proud of our many alumni, several of who have gone on to well-known careers in the theater world, including Michael Mayer (Tony-winning director; producer of Smash), Richard Scanlan (Tony-nominated librettist of Thoroughly Modern Millie), Michael Bobbitt (Artistic Director of Adventure Theatre MTC), Jonathan Hadary (Broadway and Hollywood Actor), David Costible (Broadway's Titanic, TV's Breaking Bad, featured in Lincoln, currently in theaters), and Brad Watkins (Director of Theater Services for theaterWashington), among countless other working professionals in DC, New York, and just about everywhere else.
WST is also proud to have been awarded the 2010 Ruby Griffith Award for All Round Production Excellence for the 2009 production of The Pajama Game.
Every year, we start anew--a new board, a new company, a new desire to teach, learn, and do. Our objective is to raise funds to keep this organization running well into its 50th year and beyond.*due to the nature of theatrical bookings, dates and titles are subject to change
Risks and challenges
There are many inherent risks when engaging in a theater project. For instance--unexpected casting changes if an actor is offered another job or decides to leave the project...tech rehearsals not running the way they were meant to, or they fall behind schedule...the rights to our show being revoked a week before rehearsals start (yes, this actually happened to us a couple years ago--we were forced to choose a new show and completely re-cast and re-design everything in just a week!) Part of what is amazing about WST is our ability to adapt to any situation--whether it be an understudy having to step up to take a lead role, a technical director redesigning a set piece to satisfy a director, or a company that has fallen behind schedule truly digging in and making incredible progress in a rehearsal, giving the entire project a renewed sense of energy and direction.
Additionally, part of running a company is making sure that we maintain responsible business practices--such as having enough capital each year to buy needed supplies, rent spaces for rehearsal and performance and the rights to perform shows, and avoid debt. This Kickstarter will likely not get us everything we need. To that end, We are planning other fundraising activities-such as a late winter/early spring gala and more summertime fundraising activities to supplement our income and assure that we can continue developing the theater artists of tomorrow.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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